Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Lyme can cause vocal cord paralysis


(Updated: 6/24/19)

In the Prevention article, doctors describe how Lyme disease can impact a person's vocal cords. "Lyme can affect the nerves that are responsible for controlling the muscles in the vocal cords," says Amesh A. Adalja, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. "As a result, someone could technically lose their voice if they had Lyme disease."

In fact, a case series published in the Journal of Voice identified Lyme disease as one of several causes of vocal cord paralysis, a condition that can dramatically impact patients' lives, affecting voice, swallowing and airway function. [1] Identifying the cause is important, the authors state, in order to treat the condition successfully.

Vocal cord paralysis can be caused by neurologic and inflammatory conditions, as well as by various infections. "Infectious causes include Lyme disease, West Nile virus, varicella, herpes, Epstein-Barr, syphilis, and others." [1]

The 2016 case series examined the records of 231 Pennsylvania patients with vocal cord paralysis (or paresis). The authors found that the prevalence of syphilis, myasthenia gravis, and Lyme disease was higher in these patients when compared with the national rate.

Join the conversation on Facebook: Shania Twain lost her ability to sing for several years due to Lyme disease. 

Several of the patients with vocal cord paralysis had Lyme disease. "A positive Lyme titer with confirmatory Western blot was found in five patients (2.2%). When compared with the 2013 incidence of Lyme disease in Pennsylvania (0.039%), these results were statistically significant (P < 0.0001)." [1] 

This is not the first time Lyme disease has been associated with vocal cord paralysis. In fact, it is possible that this is an underreported symptom, Adalja tells Prevention magazine.

Martínez-Balzano and colleague describe the case of a 90-year-old man who presented with dysphonia and upper and lower extremity weakness on his right side. [2] He also had bilateral vocal cord paralysis and respiratory failure which required a tracheostomy.

The man tested positive for Lyme disease. "The patient received IV ceftriaxone for 2 weeks, followed by complete recovery of motor and vocal function over 2 months."

In 2010, Martzolff reported two cases of vocal fold paresis secondary to neuroborreliosis. "Both cases resulted in favorable outcomes after antibiotic treatment." [3]

The authors point out the importance of testing vocal cord paralysis patients for Lyme disease, particularly in those living in endemic regions.

In 1988, a 45-year-old singer developed a sore throat and general malaise which progressed to hoarseness and left-sided neuralgia. The patient tested positive for Lyme disease and was treated with 3 weeks of doxycycline. "After 14 days of therapy she began to improve and after a few weeks she could speak and sing again," writes Schroeter. [4]

"We have seen a case where serologically confirmed B. burgdorferi infection was associated with paralysis of the recurrent laryngeal nerve," explains Schroeter.

"Because vocal fold paresis secondary to Lyme disease can be treated easily with antibiotics," explains White, "testing patients with idiopathic vocal fold paresis should be routine, especially in endemic areas or in patients who have traveled to areas in which Lyme disease is endemic." [1]

White and colleagues did not design their case series to test causality. "Although their causal relationship to vocal fold paralysis or paresis has not been investigated or established by this study, the medical importance of having established these diagnoses and instituted treatment is self-evident, and their possible causal association awaits further study."

Nevertheless, the authors recommended implementing a comprehensive evaluation to identify serious and treatable causal or associated disorders underlying vocal fold paralysis and paresis.

The most common causes of this disorder include non-laryngeal malignancies, iatrogenic injuries, and idiopathic causes. Post-operative dysfunction after retraction, dissection along the recurrent laryngeal nerve and thoracic malignancy have also been identified as contributing triggers, explains White.

Additional causes of vocal cord paralysis include neurologic complications such as myasthenia gravis, severe degenerative spine disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Parkinson disease, as well as other disorders, White states.

Furthermore, inflammatory causes may include sarcoidosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, amyloidosis, and polyarteritis nodosa.

"Additionally, diabetes, thyroid disease, malnutrition, and vinca alkaloids have been found to cause vocal fold (cord) paralysis or paresis," White explains.

"It is important for clinicians, especially tertiary and quaternary providers, to be familiar with the numerous diseases that may present in association with vocal fold paralysis or paresis," states White, "and to consider comprehensive diagnostic evaluation to identify serious and treatable causal or associated disorders."

EPA approves Nootkatone to repel ticks

Aug 12, 2020

The EPA on Monday approved the use of a chemical that repels and kills mosquitoes and ticks. Nootkatone, an oily compound found in cedar trees and grapefruits, is safe because it is not toxic to humans and many other mammals, as well as fish, birds, and bees. Products containing nootkatone could be used to fight ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas – insects that can pass on many diseases to humans, including malaria and Zika. It may be effective against other pests, including lice, sandflies, and midges.


In smaller doses, nootkatone repels a variety of insects and in higher doses, it can kill those same insects. 

Nootkatone can kill bugs that are resistant to some commonly used pesticides, such as DDT and pyrethroids. 

Unlike other organic insect repellants, such as citronella, peppermint oil, and lemongrass oil, nootkatone has a long-lasting effect.
Yesterday, 11:10 PM

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Dr Horowitz protocol for treating COVID-19 (overheard)

Accuracy not guaranteed on this edited repost by me, but I thought I should post this in case anyone is in need of some tips, clues, links for treating COVID-19 cases.
-Bob Cowart

Dr. Horowitz is now working with state leaders in hopes of securing state funding to conduct randomized trials.

The treatment includes three over the counter natural oral supplements called acetyl-cysteine, glutathione and alpha lipoic acid.

"They block a switch inside the nucleus called NF Capa B, and when this switch gets turned on it turns on all the inflammation and all these inflammatory molecules that you see with COVID-19," says Dr. Horowitz.

Since a vaccine could be months away, Dr. Horowitz says it's time to think outside of the box and try to use natural supplements.

Dr. Horowitz is now working with state leaders in hopes of securing state funding to conduct randomized trials.

Does anyone know the doses of the Horowitz protocol? I have recommended 600mg NAC plus selenium 400mcg to increase production of glutathione as well as Liposomal Glutathione orally or injectable Glutathione from a compounding pharmacy if possible. Reports of rapid relief of Covid-19 symptoms with Glutathione are unfortunately only uncontrolled case reports, but that type of response is lifesaving and low risk for adverse effects. Glutathione levels decrease with viral infections and NAC and selenium have been reported to restore levels. Glutathione is an important controller of innate and adaptive immunity, inflammation and reduction of ROS plus it has antiviral effects. Too bad the "standard" treatment approaches are always search for "silver bullets" instead of understanding the pathophysiology of the illness and using methods to correct it.

Horowitz spoke about Ivermectin as being current best Rx hope for prevention and early intervention pending double blind placebo controlled trials.
0.2-0.4 mg/kg once a week for two weeks, repeat in 12 weeks (someone said they heard that in one of his latest YouTube interviews).

Binds to CD157 receptors on RBC and block micro vascular clotting, and prevents Covid19 from entering cell membrane where they shut down immune function. 

Dr. Horowitz has now used the treatment on nearly two dozen coronavirus patients.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Financial support for Lyme treatment

Thanks to Emily in our East Bay (LEAPS) Lyme support group, here is a link about financial assistance for people with Lyme disease. 


Thursday, July 16, 2020

Another article about PTB and astrocytes cure for Parkinson’s

Mice were "cured" of Parkinson's disease after a scientific study took an unexpected turn.

Scientists from the University of California (UC) in San Diego set out to better understand the role of proteins in connective cells, only to discover a way to transform many different types of cells into neurons.

Parkinson's comes about when neurons – nerve cells – that produce the chemical messenger dopamine, which regulates movement, die off. Patients typically suffer tremors, slow movement and loss of balance when 80% of dopamine is lost.

The scientists used this discovery to develop a one-off treatment that eliminated Parkinson's symptoms in mice, raising hopes of a cure down the line.

Existing treatments aim to ease signs of the disease and improve a patient's quality of life, like via physiotherapy.

'I was stunned at what I saw'

More than 145,000 people over 20 in the UK are thought to have been living with Parkinson's in 2018. In the US, nearly 1 million people have the disease.

The UC scientists were studying a protein called PTB that turns genes "on or off" within cells.

In an attempt to better understand how PTB influences cell function, they silenced the protein in the connective tissue cell fibroblasts.

The fibroblasts were then grown in petri dishes to check for any changes.

A couple of weeks later, the scientists were surprised to find very few fibroblasts remained, having largely been replaced by neurons.

In a later experiment, published in the journal Nature, the team discovered brain cells called astrocytes also "turned" into neurons when PTB was silenced.

"Researchers around the world have tried many ways to generate neurones in the lab, using stem cells and other means, so we can study them better, as well as to use them to replace lost neurones in neurodegenerative diseases," said lead author Dr Xiang-Dong Fu.

"The fact we could produce so many neurones in such a relatively easy way came as a big surprise".

The scientists then turned their attention to Parkinson's.

Rodents were exposed to a chemical that poisons dopamine-producing neurons, creating symptoms of the disease.

After silencing PTB, 30% of the mice's astrocytes turned into nerve cells, reaching levels comparable to those in normal rodents.

These new neurons seemed to grow as normal and even sent connections to other parts of the brain.

When it came to symptoms, turning off PTB completely restored normal movement in the mice, with just one treatment lasting throughout their life.

"I was stunned at what I saw," said co-author Dr William Mobley.

"This whole new strategy for treating neurodegeneration gives hope it may be possible to help even those with advanced disease".

Professor David Dexter from Parkinson's UK added: "Cell transplants have, for a long time, aimed to replace lost cells in Parkinson's, but their effectiveness has been limited since they struggle to integrate and function effectively within the brain.

"This new technique has overcome this major hurdle in mice and opens the door to an exciting new treatment approach, which may be able to reverse Parkinson's in people, in future."

The scientists were 'stunned' by the cell changes in the petri dish. 

'Critical progress is at stake' due to coronavirus

Although promising, much more rigorous testing is required before the approach can be tested in humans.

The scientists plan to silence PTB in mice with genetic changes that cause Parkinson's-like symptoms, rather than the disease coming about via dopamine poisoning.

"Advances in technologies like this are vital and this is promising and well-conducted early-stage research, but it is in mice and it's not yet clear whether this approach could be used in people," said Dr Sara Imarisio from Alzheimer's Research UK. 

Neurons are also destroyed in Alzheimer's disease.

"Further research will need to develop a better understanding of the potential adverse effects of converting these cells in this way before we can know whether this technique is even possible in a human brain," said Dr Imarisio.

Professor Tara Spires-Jones from the University of Edinburgh added: "While the principle of this study is remarkable and promising, it is important to note that it was conducted in mice with group sizes from three to eight and there is a long way to go to translate this into a treatment for people."

Nevertheless, the UC team has patented their treatment in the hope it could one day help patients.

"It's my dream to see this through to clinical trials, to test this approach as a treatment for Parkinson's disease, but also many other diseases where neurones are lost, such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's diseases and stroke," said Dr Fu.

"Dreaming even bigger, what if we could target PTB to correct defects in other parts of the brain, to treat things like inherited brain defects?

"I intend to spend the rest of my career answering these questions."

While it all sounds promising, medical research charities in the UK have warned "patients will suffer the consequences" unless they receive government support amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"Findings like this do highlight the potential of medical research, but critical progress is at stake and it's essential that dementia research is backed by the government throughout the COVID-19 crisis," said Dr Imarisio.

COVID-19 is the respiratory disease that can be triggered by the coronavirus.

"Research is the only way we can end the fear, heartbreak and harm that diseases like Parkinson's cause," added Dr Imarisio.

Prior to the pandemic, Parkinson's UK "knew" a major breakthrough and cure for the disease was "close".

Instead, the charity has been forced to "fight for fair treatment and better services" for patients, who are more at risk of coronavirus complications.

To maintain this increased support, Parkinson's UK must reportedly raise £95,000 ($118,872) a week for the next three months.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Genetic insights into the etiology of Parkinson’s disease

Genetic identification of cell types underlying brain complex traits yields insights into the etiology of Parkinson's disease


Genome-wide association studies have discovered hundreds of loci associated with complex brain disorders, but it remains unclear in which cell types these loci are active. Here we integrate genome-wide association study results with single-cell transcriptomic data from the entire mouse nervous system to systematically identify cell types underlying brain complex traits. We show that psychiatric disorders are predominantly associated with projecting excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Neurological diseases were associated with different cell types, which is consistent with other lines of evidence. Notably, Parkinson's disease was genetically associated not only with cholinergic and monoaminergic neurons (which include dopaminergic neurons) but also with enteric neurons and oligodendrocytes. Using post-mortem brain transcriptomic data, we confirmed alterations in these cells, even at the earliest stages of disease progression. Our study provides an important framework for understanding the cellular basis of complex brain maladies, and reveals an unexpected role of oligodendrocytes in Parkinson's disease.....

For the rest of the article:

Doctors treat Parkinson’s with a novel brain cell transplant - STAT

Bob Cowart
Phone: 510-540-6667
Twitter: @bobcowart